Tag Archives: #IndieAuthor

Continue The Story.. The Society For The Protection Of Unwanted Objects.

Taking a deep breath, she put the old-fashioned key in the lock and turned it. She’d half expected it to stick, given the age of both, but the mechanism moved with ease and the of the shop door swung open before her.

What on earth was she supposed to do with the place?

The shop smelled stale and musty and slightly unclean – a bit like its previous owner, her late great-uncle. It had been over twenty years since she had last visited “The Society For The Protection Of Unwanted Objects.”  She’d been shocked to learn that she had inherited the place when her uncle had passed away three months beforehand. Growing up, she’d been passed around the family after the death of her parents, spending most of her childhood with her aunt. The shop had always been a bit of a sanctuary for her, seeing herself as the “unwanted object” in the family. As a child, she’d imagined the shop as a “real life” episode of Bagpuss; as an adult, she was at a loss as to what to make of it.

What did she know about running a shop?

Glancing round, all she could see before her was clutter and junk. A thick layer of dust covered everything in sight. Most of the items on the shelves and in the display cabinets looked as though they’d been there since her last visit.

Leaving the door open, she ventured further inside. A letter addressed to her, in her uncle’s shaking writing, lay amongst the dust bunnies on the glass counter. Leaving it unopened for now, she explored the rest of the shop. Both storerooms were piled high with yet more junk. The small kitchen cum sitting room right at the back of the building looked completely unchanged from her childhood and was desperately in need of a good clean.

“Oh, why, Uncle Samuel?” she sighed as she walked back through to the main shop.

A cough from the doorway startled her.

“Hi. Are you the new owner?” asked a tall guy with long dark hair, pulled back into a ponytail, his bare arms covered in tattoos. “I’m Sam. I’m your neighbour. I own the art gallery next door.”

A ray of sunlight broke through the clouds at that moment. With a cloud of dust motes creating an aura around him, he smiled.

Maybe he was the reason she was here….

Riley….coming 2022…. a little sneak peek inside

A little sneak peek to tease you……

Around her the bedroom was lit by half a dozen candles, their shadows dancing on the walls. A delicate vanilla fragrance filled the room. The gothic palace lay silent. It was almost midnight. Sitting cross-legged in the middle of the large four-poster bed, Riley sat staring down at the CD in her hands. Her CD. Her debut album that was due to be released worldwide on the stroke of midnight.

A box of CDs had been delivered that morning with a note from the record company saying simply, “Autograph these in time for the launch party on February 29th.” She’d signed her way through two silver Sharpie markers before all the CD inserts were autographed. At Garrett’s suggestion, she’d practiced her autograph on a few sheets of paper before deciding how she wanted to sign it. Initially it had been fun sitting at Garrett’s huge rosewood dining table signing the insert for each disc but after the first fifty or so the novelty swiftly wore off. Two hours later she had finished the chore. All of the discs had been signed -all bar one. The one she held in her trembling hands.

Happy Easter! Free e-book Stronger Within. Jake Power goes great with chocolate

Happy Easter.

Want to spend the weekend at the beach with a hot rock star? Want it for free?

Look no further, Stronger Within, book 1 in the Silver Lake series is free to download this holiday weekend.  Oh, and books go great with chocolate eggs!

Here’s the links to that hot date with Jake Power

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Introducing indie author BH Lynn

This week I’d like to introduce you to fellow indie author BH Lynn. Our paths crossed through a mutual love of the same music (Yes, it involves Alter Bridge and Myles …stop rolling your eyes! LOL) and I’m delighted that she spared me some time recently to answer a few questions about both her debut Scars and Souvenirs and her new novel As It Was. So, without further ado…

Tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’m an accountant by day, and a wife and dog mom by night when I’m not trying to do this crazy thing called writing (Or watching Hockey!). I’ve always had a creative drive. I played multiple instruments and toyed around with writing poetry as a teen, but I never thought I had what it took to fully develop characters. I actually didn’t pick up reading and seriously writing until about three years ago. After graduating from college, I was looking for a new challenge, and I truly enjoy the way writing is something I can always be working at.

Your latest book As It Was is due to be released on 15th April 2022. It’s the second book in the series charting Aiden and Jason’s story. What can you tell me about it without giving away any spoilers?

As It Was picks up about 7 months after Scars and Souvenirs ends and is from Jason’s POV this time. It’s a story about how as a relationship grows, you have to learn to grow with it. Like many of us, Jason has his own scars, and though they aren’t as visible as Aiden’s, they are just as real. His own past is becoming harder to ignore, and if he doesn’t get a handle on how to address the way he views his own vulnerabilities, it’s going to cost him the future that he and Aiden are fighting for. 

Which of your characters do you like most? Why?

While I deeply love all my characters (even the one’s no one else has met) Aiden is my baby. He came to me in a time when I most needed him, and though I never set out to make him a version of myself, he helped me work through my own insecurities as he did so through book one. He’s as real to me as any friend I’ve ever had, and that might make me sound crazy, but I’ve been called worse.

What drew you to write MM romance?

MM romance offers me a world where I can relate to characters, love their love, root for them, and as a woman, not feel the urge to compare myself to them like in a traditional romance. Traditional romances I’d read portrayed women as in need of a relationship to be seen or made them into hypersexual beings which I am not. I don’t enjoy reading a book and thinking “Why aren’t I like that? Is something wrong with me?”. Also, MM romance offers a great power balance and unique issues for relationships to overcome. It just felt like home from the beginning.

Is there one particular person who inspired you to write?

I was once close friends with another Author who turned me onto the genre by asking me to BETA/ARC read for them. We unfortunately had a falling out, but they planted the seed. It was after I read the Snow and Winter Mysteries by C.S. Poe that I got the urge to write in first person, and that totally changed the game for me! I credit her with helping me find my voice.

A cruel question, but what’s your favourite book/who’s your favourite author?

This probably should be harder than it is for me to answer, but The Mystery of the Curiosities by C.S. Poe is my favourite book. Sebastian Snow is that lightning in the bottle character for me, and the vulnerabilities shown by him, and his hero love interest Calvin were just so darn genuine in that book. Even the hero needs help sometimes. I felt so seen by that series, and the mysteries are absolutely bizarre and a lot of fun to read. C.S. Poe is my favourite author, but Gregory Ashe and Josh Lanyon are right up there.

Tell me a bit about your approach to your writing. Are you a meticulous planner or do you tend towards letting your characters go with the flow?

No matter how many times I say it’s the opposite way around, my characters are the boss and I’m just along for the ride. I do very little outlining or planning. I go in with points A, H, Q, and Z. They fill in the rest.

I love to write outdoors. Where’s your favourite place to write?

I also love to write outside, but I do some of my best work at Starbucks. No idea why. I think it’s because it’s the only place where I’m not being interrupted with curiosity about what my husband is doing, or the urge to hug my really cute dog who also wants to go outside 100 times a day.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

O gosh. Pretty much anything the great Gregory Ashe has said to me. Especially when it comes to pacing and not trying to fit a chapter into a certain length etc. Just let the scenes be the scenes and the sequels be the sequels, no matter how many or how little words it takes to convey it. I got really obsessive about that at one time and since I’ve abandoned that, I’ve found my execution of my objectives has been much easier.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors out there?

Do it for you. At the end of the day, readers, purchases, reviews…none of those things are promised. Write what you want for you, and if it happens to bring joy to someone else, that’s a nice big cherry on top.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

By reading. If I’m stuck on something, I go read something that is far from what I’m writing as a way of resetting my brain. So if I’m writing hurt comfort, I’ll go read a mystery etc. Also, I’ll sit down and write my characters doing something totally mundane and not related to the story. Sometimes I learn something about them that unclogs the mental jam.

So, what’s next creatively? Are you working on anything else just now?

While Aiden and Jason have a third story on deck, I plan to switch up and release the first story in my LEO/whodunnit series next. I think it’ll be nice to get back to two other characters I love who have wildly different stories. I don’t want to burn myself or anyone else out on one set of characters. I think it’ll light an even bigger fire in me when I’m ready to return to story three.

Then for a bit of fun:

Favourite food A big fat juicy cheeseburger!

Favourite drink Caramel Macchiato’s

Favourite band Alter Bridge. Their music saved me more times than I can count.

Favourite holiday destination Chicago, Illinois. I just love that city!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? Teleporting, because I hate driving! Also, I would love to travel but also don’t really enjoy flying. I just want to click my fingers and be somewhere else. That’d be ideal for me.

Scars and Souvenirs review

BH Lynn’s debut novel is the first MM romance to cross my radar. Within a few pages I was captivated by Aiden’s vulnerability. When Jason was introduced, my protective “momma” mode kicked in.  Would he be good enough for Aiden? No spoilers from me so if you want to know the answer to that you’ll need to read Scars And Souvenirs for yourself. Both central characters are strong characters that are each other’s Yin and Yang. The chemistry just works here. I have a clear picture of Jason in my head. Aiden less so.

There’s a sensitively handled subtlety to this tale. It drew me in. I was quickly invested in this one and am already looking forward to reading book 2 As It Was when it is released next month.

Great debut novel.

As It Was

Jason: Three fourths. Seventy five percent. It was a passing grade in school, so why wouldn’t one accept such when it came to life?

After eight years in a disastrous relationship with a controlling drug addict named Ben, I’d resigned myself to being the type of person who just wasn’t meant to find love. I’d stepped up to the plate, swung my bat more times than any umpire would allow, then finally struck out. I had a great career, great friends and family, and over three years I’d hardly found myself missing all that comes with being in a relationship. That was until I met Aiden.

Aiden made me realize I’d been swallowing down that lie for so long that I’d almost convinced myself it was true.

But even the best relationships run into issues, and when my past comes back with a vengeance to threaten my future, I discover that there’s more damage left inside of me than I ever wanted to admit. As my instincts to protect Aiden from that part of my life go astray, and the missteps and pressures add up, I realize that I have to make a decision that will greatly impact our future:

Keep trying to hold my head above water and protect the persona of strength I’d fought for years to build.

 Or risk looking like the fraud I feel like I am sometimes and admit insecurities I’ve tried to bury before they drown me.

Can I find the strength to make the right choice in the face of the type of discomfort I’d sworn away after Ben? Can Aiden and I both fight our own fights and still fight for each other? Or will it all be too much, and life will return to as it was?

UK links:

Scars and Souvenirs : Aiden and Jason #1 eBook : Lynn, B.H. : Amazon.co.uk: Books

As It Was: Aiden and Jason Part Two eBook : Lynn, B.H.: Amazon.co.uk: Books

 Amazon.co.uk: B.H. Lynn: Books, Biography, Blogs, Audiobooks, Kindle

US/rest of the world links:

Scars and Souvenirs : Aiden and Jason #1 – Kindle edition by Lynn, B.H. . Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

As It Was: Aiden and Jason Part Two – Kindle edition by Lynn, B.H.. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

 Amazon.com: B.H. Lynn: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Huge thanks to BH Lynn for her time. Please check out her books on Amazon this holiday weekend. They go great with chocolate!

Broken Crayons…

It’s funny the things you remember from your childhood. Memories of this box of crayons popped back into my head yesterday when I was in Paperchase deliberating over which journals and pens to treat myself to. I love fancy pens and notebooks!

I remember saving up to buy this box of crayons when I was about 10 years old. I eventually bought my box, complete with sharpener, at the ACME on holiday in America in 1980. No idea what I paid for it but $5 rings a vague bell (it was a long time ago even for my crazy memory).

Even back then I loved colourful pens and pencils and crayons. That box of crayons was my treasured possession at the time. I took great care not to overuse any of the colours in case I had to tear the paper down. (Anyone else remember doing that or is it just me?) The built-in sharpener was used sparingly but I loved the wee colourful curls it spat out. Sad but true! LOL

Oh, happy days….

Now life’s busy. Life’s stressful. Those innocent childhood days when the biggest decision was whether to use Indigo or Violet or Purple are long gone but   one of my favourite sayings still harks back to those days.

We’re all a little broken but last time I checked broken crayons still colour.

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Hmm…I wonder…

I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional meander or two…. Ok it’s a daily occurrence.

If you ever pass me when I’m out walking alone, please don’t be offended if I appear to ignore you. Meandering time is head space time. Time to rationalise the thoughts of the day. Time to reflect.

It can also be time to daydream and create. Many scenes from my book babies have come to fruition after a good meander.

My mind is seldom still and quiet.

Last Sunday, I enjoyed a short (ok very short) meander with my Girl Child when we visited a holistic therapy centre for a mother/daughter treat. We were early for our appointments and decided to explore the trail beside the centre. There were two routes of differing lengths to choose from. We opted for the shorter one just to be on the safe side.

As we walked along the narrow path, we were surrounded by the sights and sounds of spring. All good for the soul.

Then I spotted it….

My imagination has been whirring away ever since. Who lives in this tiny house? A tiny wizard? A fairy? A witch? …..

I can’t help but think that there’s a story waiting to be told about the “person” who lives behind this tiny door.

And the title of Book Baby 7 is……

One year, one month, one week and one day after I first put pen to paper I am thrilled (excited and terrified) to reveal that Book Baby 7 is…… Riley.

All things going to plan, Riley will be published during Autumn 2022.

Happy World Book Day 2022!

The first Thursday in March is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland. (It’s celebrated on 23rd April across the rest of the world).

Books have played a huge role in my life ever since I was a wee girl. The childhood dream was to become an author when I grew up and to see my name on the cover of a book. (The growing up bit never happened – that’s bad for you!) It is a dream that I have been fortunate enough to see come true.

I’m an avid reader with wide and varied tastes. Yes – I have been known to buy books just because I liked the cover. (The same philosophy has been applied to choosing wine too- love a good label!)

As an indie author, I am a keen supporter of reading fellow indie authors’ work. As an indie author, I can totally appreciate the hours of blood sweat and tears that go into each book.

So, to honour 25 years of World Book Day, I thought I’d share 25 random book related “facts”-

1- I write all of my first drafts longhand. That’s a lot of notepads and pens!

2- I love a book with a “good” house in it. (My mother shares the same love) The house in several of Anita Shreve’s books is the perfect example.

3- The book I have gifted most often is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Love it!

4- I introduced my Wee Gran to the delights of reading when she was about 80 years old. She started off reading my Enid Blyton books before graduating to Mills & Boon once my mum got her some library tickets. She loved a good doctor/nurse romance.

5-I read Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg to my kids so often I could recite the whole book from start to finish word perfect. “Each peach pear plum, I spy Tom Thumb……” Precious memories.

6- My aunt introduced me to Dr Seuss by reading me The Cat In The Hat when I was 4 years old, creating a lifelong love of Dr Seuss. (Yes, I even have Dr Seuss Converse)

7-When I was in high school and we were “told” read a book for our exams, I never read any of them until my senior year. Recommend a book to me but please don’t tell me to read one. It doesn’t work! ( For the record I got A’s in my English exams)

8- I was 42 years old when I sat down to start writing the story that evolved into the Silver Lake series and was 44 years old before I found the courage to publish it. It’s never too late to chase down that dream.

9- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien is the best written book I have ever read (in my humble opinion.)

10- The last book that made me cry was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.

11- I love Paulo Coelho and have read The Alchemist numerous times. My favourite though might be The Devil and Miss Prym.

12- Magic Kingdom For Sale. Sold by Terry Brooks remains one of my favourite fantasy novels. Questor Thews is an under-rated magician!

13- I cried when I held the first proof copy of Stronger Within in my hands. That was the dream come true moment. My name was actually on the cover of a real book!!!!

14- I read every night before I go to sleep.

15- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is another favourite. Must visit Savannah one of these days.

16- Writing the “blurb” for the back cover is the hardest part of a book to write. (Ask any indie author!)

17- If you hope to earn your fortune from writing books be prepared to be sorely disappointed. Royalties for the vast majority of indie authors would barely cover the cost of a coffee once a month.

18- There are approximately 7500 new books per day published on Amazon’s Kindle platform.

19- When I’m in the mood for a historical novel, my Go To’s are Barbara Erskine, Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon.

20- My Silently Watching serialised dark angel fiction started life as a bit of joke, having just finished reading Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni back in July 2014. Almost eight years later and its still going strong.

21- The first Stephen King I read was Firestarter.

22- My mother accidentally introduced me to the more “adult” side of fiction when I was 14. (something she has never lived down LOL) The book in question was Goodbye Janette by Harold Robbins.

23- I don’t have a favourite book – that’s a cruel choice for a book lover! There’s so many favourites!

24- I’ve self-published six books so far (with the love and support of my Infamous Five and my Cavalry) and I’m proud of every word.

25- You can never have too many books 🙂

Happy World Book Day 🙂

Save the date….

Watch this space for news about Book Baby 7……

Still Haven’t Found You – latest novel by Sarah M Reed

Just over a year ago I introduced indie author Sarah M Reed to you all. 

Did you miss it? Nevermind, here’s the link to that introduction:-

Introducing Sarah M Reed | Coral McCallum

On 11th February, Sarah released her latest novel Still Haven’t Found You.

To quote the book’s description –

He is what her dreams are made of, but she is the one he never saw coming…

After Cade Lawson is discharged from the Army, he comes home with more than just physical scars. Losing his best friend, Blue, was like losing a limb, and he doesn’t know how to move forward. Isolating himself from others, he vows to keep his solitude for the rest of his days. Until she comes along and ruins his plans…

No stranger to grief herself, Clara Stewart has been on a quest to find the mysterious stranger haunting her dreams for nearly a year. When she finally finds him, he is nothing like what she expected. A giant of a man, Cade is gruff and unapproachable, but Clara persists, believing in a bigger purpose behind their meeting. As they discover how their lives are inexplicably intertwined in more ways than one, they begin to realize how they each may be the only one who can truly save the other…

A slow burn, brooding romance about love, loss, and starting over, with a guaranteed happily ever after.

This book does not disappoint!

I found myself with several hours of reading time last Saturday night and devoured this book more or less in one sitting. No spoilers from me, but very quickly I was invested in both main characters. This is a slow burning romance as Sarah describes in her blurb but the chemistry is clear for all to see from the very first time Cade and Clara meet. That smouldering chemistry is the key to the success of this tale. Sarah’s description of Cade’s home also captivated me. I could see myself there!

On a personal level there were aspects of Clara that tugged at my heartstrings; there were aspects of Cade that tugged at my heartstrings. The main thing though is that they were both believable characters who by the final scenes felt more like friends than fictional characters.

Loved it! Can’t wait to read Aaron’s story and see where that one leads.

This book gets 5 * from me

If you don’t believe me, you can check out Still Haven’t Found You and Sarah’s other novels on Amazon worldwide.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-M-Reed

https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-M-Reed